This review examines a range of electronic learning (eLearning) resources that have been developed for health professionals internationally to understand what is known about effective eLearning approaches for different health professionals in different settings.
- Knowledge is easy to change and measure, especially if the baseline is low; knowledge retention is easier with low baseline participants.
- If procedural or practical skills are required, the program needs to include practice through exercises and testing, not just discussion or interactivity.
- It is hard to effect change in behaviour and practice except in low baseline situations. Attitudes, beliefs and values are difficult to change, but change can be achieved.
- Some interpersonal skills cannot be effectively addressed online without including interpersonal interactions.
- Regular revision of learning is needed for retention.
- An eLearning resource developed for one group of health professionals may not be relevant for another group.
- Participation and completion can be increased through incentives, ensuring relevance and online mentors. Drop-out rates are often high, especially in long and anonymous programs.
- Participants’ technology and technical skills need to be considered. An online or face-to-face orientation is required for eLearning resources.
- The effectiveness of different eLearning types varies.
- Participant satisfaction is easy to measure.